This State Could Crack Down on Drivers Who Don't Scrape Snow Off Cars

The bill, named after a woman who died when ice struck her vehicle, has been introduced before but languished in committee.

The bill, named after a woman who died when ice struck her vehicle, has been introduced before but languished in committee. Shutterstock

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A bill moving in the Pennsylvania General Assembly would allow police to ticket drivers who do not remove snow and ice from their cars in a timely manner.

Drivers in Pennsylvania could face fines for failing to clear ice and snow from their cars after storms under a bill making its way through the state legislature.

As written, the legislation would give police officers the authority to pull over drivers who do not scrape snow and ice from their vehicles within 24 hours after a storm. Violators could face a $75 fine.

Under current law, drivers can only be cited if snow or ice comes loose from a moving vehicle and strikes a car or pedestrian, causing death or “serious bodily injury.” The proposed legislation increases the maximum fine for that offense, from $1,000 to $1,500.

State Sen. Lisa Boscola has been pushing the bill since 2005, when a woman was killed after ice dislodged from a truck and struck her car. The measure, dubbed “Christine’s Law,” unanimously passed the Senate last year but stalled in committee and did not receive a House vote before the end of the legislative session.

The current iteration was unanimously approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee on Monday and goes next to the full Senate.

The trucking industry opposed previous versions of the bill, but Boscola said the legislation is meant only as a proactive measure to protect motorists and pedestrians.

“My bill would help prevent injury and death on our roadways,” she said in a statement. “It would emphasize safety and responsibility—building public awareness so that more people are vigilant about clearing snow and ice from their vehicles.”

Kate Elizabeth Queram is a Staff Correspondent for Route Fifty and is based in Washington, D.C.

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